Saturday, January 24, 2009

Making Work Pay

I'm currently writing an essay about creative tension between the Obama Administration and the left in our quest to promote peace, prosperity and social justice. In the meantime, I just wanted to do a quick post about President Obama's proposal for a "Making Work Pay" tax credit to benefit workers who earn too little to pay taxes yet do pay Social Security and Medicare taxes.

In a bipartisan meeting of congressional leadership yesterday, Eric Cantor, the Republican number two House leader objected to the proposal. Predatory conservatives such as Cantor typically prefer that tax benefits go to the wealthy and champion the failed policy of trickle down economics. Liberals prefer a progressive tax system that helps low wage earners spend money on necessities such as food, utilities and shelter. It is our belief that money in the hands of people who need it most is the best tonic for the economy.

Well, the New York Times reports that according to White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, President Obama told Cantor,
"We just have a difference here and I'm President."
The Times described the moment as lighthearted and respectful. Nonetheless, while civil, President Obama clearly stood his ground.

Congressman Cantor recalled President Obama as saying,
"You're correct, there's a philosophical difference, but I won, so we're going to prevail on that." Cantor further added that, "There was no disrespect, but it was very matter-of-fact."
That's real change and I like it.

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